Shape of the College Draft Recommendations Executive Summary


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On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Ithaca College’s Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC) released its “Shape of the College” draft report to the campus community. Faculty, staff, and students were sent an email with a link to access the complete document. The APPIC has also created the below Executive Summary, which provides background information and key highlights from the report. The APPIC’s final recommendations will be submitted to the provost and president, who will convey their decisions by March 1.

Ithaca College’s strategic planning process, which began in fall 2018, set out to embody “bold realism” and to foster financial sustainability. One of the investments articulated in the resulting plan is to “maintain an appropriate and sustainable size for our programs and structures, and the associated resources, at every level of the institution.” This goal reflects the college’s response to — and adaptations to — declines in enrollment and represents efforts to align Ithaca College with the realities of the changing landscape for higher education.

In 2019, the college began to implement this commitment by convening the Academic Program Prioritization Action Group. With the help of many members of the Ithaca College community, the group developed the guiding principles that would come to direct a holistic, data-driven, and inclusive process of academic program prioritization.

In fall 2020, responding to the strategic plan and financial challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, the Provost charged the Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC) to review available data and solicit input from deans and faculty at large in order to recommend an ideal “shape for the college”: a slate of academic offerings and associated resource allocations to be implemented in the next two years, resulting in a sustainable future for Ithaca College, including growth in strategic areas.

Process and Guiding Principles

Draft Recommendations Regarding Resource Alignment

Additional Draft Recommendations
In addition, the committee offered a number of far-reaching recommendations, the goal of which was to scaffold the proposed staffing changes and position Ithaca for future long-term growth. These include:

Impact on Students in Programs/Majors Recommended for Discontinuation
Students enrolled in an Ithaca College major that is recommended to be substantially revised or discontinued will be supported through the completion of their planned program.

Looking Ahead
While the most pressing charge for APPIC was to align faculty size with projected student body size, the committee also sees great hope for the future of Ithaca College. Indeed, as Provost Cornish has articulated frequently, the next phases of this process will allow the campus community to focus on restructuring and reorganization, as well as identifying potential for growth in strategic areas.